Consumer Advisory Panel

1. Introduction

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is a regulatory agency mandated to safeguard public confidence and trust, promote public education and knowledge, and protect the rights and interests of consumers in Ontario’s financial services sectors. To achieve this mandate, FSRA is committed to an open, transparent, and collaborative approach that ensures consumer input and perspectives inform our direction and decisions.

“Consumers” are those who purchase or benefit from products and services provided by the sectors that FSRA regulates, including pension plan beneficiaries and credit union members.

2. Panel mandate

The Consumer Advisory Panel (the “Panel”) is a group that advises FSRA on consumers’ perspectives. It helps FSRA to better protect the rights and interests of consumers in its regulated sectors. The Panel is an important part of FSRA’s interactions with stakeholders, ensuring consumers’ voices are heard with regard to FSRA’s:

  • strategic planning
  • rule-making
  • guidance development
  • research
  • supervisory and consumer education activities

To achieve its goals, the Panel will:

  1. identify annual topics for the Panel’s consideration, based on priorities identified in FSRA’s annual business plan and other key issues and opportunities affecting Ontario consumers in FSRA’s regulated sectors
  2. provide feedback and input on FSRA’s approach to engaging with consumers and the public interest community in a meaningful way
  3. provide input on priorities in, or which should be in, FSRA’s annual business plan
  4. provide feedback on the progress made by FSRA on its priorities from the previous annual business plan
  5. act as a voice from the consumer point of view during FSRA consultations on proposed rules, policy, supervisory or operational initiatives (e.g., guidance)
  6. provide advice on new consumer outreach and educational initiatives, either identified by the Panel or suggested by FSRA
  7. identify topics related to FSRA’s mandate for its consideration and potential further policy discussions
  8. review and provide input on consumer research conducted by FSRA, or relevant third parties
  9. oversee the creation of an annual report outlining the Panel’s key activities
  10. provide feedback to FSRA on the Panel’s operation, including advice on identifying, recruiting and onboarding new Panel members
  11. take part of any other activities agreed upon by FSRA and the Panel in support of the Panels goals, align with FSRA’s mandate, and advocate for consumer interests

The Panel exists in addition to FSRA's Stakeholder Advisory Committees (SACs), which may also include sector-specific consumer representation.

3. Panel authority

The Panel’s role is advisory. Its advice and recommendations will be considered as input to FSRA for review and consideration and may or may not result in action or policy change.

The Panel will carry out its operations in an independent and transparent way. This commitment is aimed at preserving the Panel’s integrity and guaranteeing that its interactions with policy makers are characterized by impartiality and fairness, fostering an equitable and just engagement process. The Panel will prioritize its activities in alignment with its mandate, focusing on protecting the rights and interests of consumers.

4. Membership

4.1 Appointment of Panel members, Chair and Vice-Chair

Appointments to the Panel are made through an open, transparent, and merit-based application process posted online. Selections are made by a selection committee composed of FSRA’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Consumer Officer and one Executive Vice President (“Selection Committee”) as well as additional senior management representatives as needed, based upon the relevant experience, skills, knowledge, and views of the applicants.

The Panel will be chaired by a member of the Panel. A Chair and Vice-Chair will be appointed by the Selection Committee. The primary role of the Chair is to provide leadership to the Panel to ensure the Panel performs its mandate and maintains effective relationships with the Chief Consumer Officer, FSRA’s Consumer Office, Panel members, and other stakeholders.

FSRA publishes the names of the members of the Panel on its website.

4.2 Responsibilities of the Chair of the Panel:

In addition to the responsibilities described in Section 4.1, the responsibilities of the Chair of the Panel are:

Panel management

  • ensure that the Panel operates in accordance with:
    • its Terms of Reference
    • any relevant regulations or guidelines
    • ethical principles
  • work with the Consumer Office to set the Panel’s priorities, engagement model and meeting agendas
  • represent the Panel in opportunities for communication and collaboration with other advisory bodies


  • attend all meetings
  • invite external participants to the meetings where required
  • provide leadership and direction for the Panel, ensuring that it is focused on its objectives and goals
  • conduct meetings and manage the agenda, ensuring that all Panel members have a chance to contribute, and that discussions are productive and effective


  • work with the Consumer Office and Panel members to deliver a public annual report on the Panel’s activities
  • report to FSRA’s Board of Directors on the Panel’s activities and risks and opportunities FSRA should be considering in its strategic planning
  • collaborate with the Vice-Chair and other Panel members to ensure that the Panel's advice to FSRA is accurate and representative of the views of its members

4.3 Responsibilities of the Vice-Chair of the Panel:

Panel management

  • act as Chair in meetings in the absence or incapacity of the Chair, or if the office is vacant, until a new Chair is elected
  • support the Chair in carrying out their responsibilities and provide leadership in their absence


  • collaborate with the Chair and other Panel members to develop agendas for meetings and ensure that the Panel is meeting its objectives
  • support the Chair in ensuring that the Panel operates in accordance with its:
    • Terms of Reference
    • any relevant regulations or guidelines
    • ethical principles
  • promote effective communication and collaboration among Panel members
  • ensure that all members are aware of their roles and responsibilities

4.4 Term limits and reappointments

Panel members are appointed for two-year terms, with a possibility for extension to a maximum three-year term.

The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Panel are appointed for one-year terms, with a possibility for extension to a maximum three-year term.

In exceptional circumstances, FSRA’s Selection Committee may extend the appointment of the Chair and/or Vice-Chair for one additional year beyond the three-year term in the role.

Members appointed to the Chair or Vice-Chair position can continue their membership as a Panel member up to the maximum three-year term after stepping down from said position.

5. Panel make-up

The Panel will consist of a minimum of five (5) and a maximum of thirteen (13) individuals.

Panel members provide evidence-based and consumer-focused insights to help FSRA understand and deliver on Ontarians’ expectations of our services and policies.

Ideally, the Panel’s membership will:

  • collectively bring insights from all the sectors FSRA regulates that will help address consumer harm
  • include viewpoints from different consumers including, but not limited to, seniors, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, youth and low-income Ontarians
  • represent a mix of both high-level expertise and experience representing consumer interests in ongoing interactions with regulatory authorities and industry
  • provide insights from across Ontario

For a balanced consumer perspective, the make-up of the Panel will emphasize sectoral representation from:

  • individual consumers
  • consumer associations
  • consumer advocates
  • academics
  • financial literacy experts
  • regulatory bodies

6. Governance

6.1 Administration

The Consumer Office will prepare a summary of each Panel meeting and share it, and any additional written submissions, with Panel members, typically within three weeks following a meeting.

FSRA intends to publish a high-level summary of the Panel’s work on FSRA’s website within approximately three weeks of each meeting.

6.2 Meetings

The Panel will meet up to seven times a year (minimum of two meetings), and additional meetings may be called as required.

A quorum for a meeting of the Panel will be attained when the majority of its members are present, either in person or via remote conferencing.

The Panel may be asked to attend other meetings (e.g., FSRA Board meetings) as required to discuss the work of the Panel. Panel members may also be invited to participate in Panel sub-committees or working groups, where appropriate, to discuss technical or sector-specific issues.

Where possible, the Panel members will use best efforts to develop consensus and to identify any issues where consensus does not exist and the reasons for an absence of consensus.

6.3 Attendance at meetings

Each Panel member is expected to devote sufficient time to Panel affairs, including the review of materials and attendance at all meetings of the Panel.

The Consumer Office will provide all secretariat, administrative and policy support to the Chair, Vice-Chair, and the Panel more broadly (as required). A member of the Consumer Office will attend each Panel meeting as an observer and record the meeting summary.

The Consumer Office may also invite observers and/or experts to assist the Panel in its duties. The CEO and other FSRA staff from Core Regulatory areas, Policy, Legal and Public Affairs, are ex-officio members of the Panel (non-quorum) and will attend when relevant matters are raised at meetings.

6.4 Agendas

The agenda for each meeting will be prepared by Consumer Office in consultation with the Chair and/or Vice-Chair. The final agenda and relevant materials for each meeting will be provided to Panel members at least seven days in advance of each meeting.

6.5 Reporting

The Panel, through the Consumer Office, will provide an annual report to FSRA on its key activities. The report will be published on the FSRA website, included in the FSRA annual report or published elsewhere.

The Panel, through the Consumer Office, may make public all submissions officially provided to FSRA, including but not limited to responses to public consultations and presentations to the FSRA Board. Materials may be published under the Panel’s webpage on the FSRA website.

7. Public process, input from others and disclosure issues

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. will (unless otherwise specified by FSRA) apply to information provided to the Panel and to materials prepared by or for the Panel for presentation or delivery to FSRA.

Panel members may be required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before assuming a position on the Panel or for specific meetings.

Members of the Panel are permitted to obtain assistance from colleagues or collaborators. However, members and those who assist them are required to maintain the confidentiality of all information provided to the Panel, or prepared by or for the Panel for presentation or delivery to FSRA (with the exception of information made public by FSRA, including any submissions by the Panel or its members as part of a public comment process sponsored by FSRA).

8. Remuneration and expenses

Members of the Panel will receive a per diem remuneration of $250 for attendance at meetings as a Panel member (refer to Schedule A) and will be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses in accordance with FSRA’s Travel, Meal and Hospitality Policy.

The Chair and Vice-Chair are eligible (if applicable) for up to one additional per diem for each meeting as preparation for the meeting.

To be reimbursed for travel expenses, Panel members must receive prior approval from FSRA before making travel arrangements and will be required to submit a travel expense claim with detailed receipts.

No additional expenditures or commitments will be made without FSRA’s prior authorization. The meeting per diems will be reviewed on an annual basis.

9. Conflict of interest

Panel members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with their role as advisors to FSRA and to adhere to these Terms of Reference. In the event of a conflict between a Panel member's private interests and their responsibilities as a member, they are required to disclose the conflict to the Panel outlining its nature. The Panel shall prioritize the resolution of conflicts in the public interest. If any conflicts remain unresolved, the Chair of the Panel will promptly escalate them to the Chief Consumer Officer, who will bring the matter to the attention of the Selection Committee.

Panel members may be in a conflict of interest if any employment, business, financial or other personal considerations could interfere with their ability to remain impartial and to express opinions on consumer issues, or FSRA policy changes, being considered by the Panel.

Applicants to the Panel are required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to the Selection Committee during the application process. Panel members may be considered to have a conflict of interest if any aspect of their employment, business, financial, or personal considerations could potentially hinder their ability to provide unbiased opinions on consumer issues under consideration by the Panel. Furthermore, Panel members are prohibited from advancing their private interests through their position or activities as a Panel member.

10. Removal and vacancies of membership

If a Panel member is no longer able to meet their responsibilities for any reason, that member shall notify the Consumer Office and resign from the Panel by giving written notice.

The Chief Consumer Officer may choose to remove any member of the Panel at any time.

Vacated positions remain as such until the end of the term, at which time they will be filled through the public member appointment process.

Schedule A: Consumer Advisory Panel’s Remuneration Guide

Category Duration Rate

Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) meetings

More than 3 hours One (1) per diem rate
Less than 3 hours One half (0.5) per diem rate

Working group/Subcommittee CAP meetings

More than 3 hours One (1) per diem rate
Less than 3 hours One half (0.5) per diem rate

Other approved meetings

e.g. orientation sessions, stakeholder meetings, engagement, special events and other meetings with pre-approval from the Chief Consumer Officer.
More than 3 hours One (1) per diem rate
Less than 3 hours One half (0.5) per diem rate

FSRA’s Consumer Office will track all meetings which are booked through it, and Panel members are encouraged to advise the Consumer Office of any meeting to ensure accurate record keeping.